Maine CUs' Coordinated Basketball Tournament 'Scores' Record Total For Childhood Cancer

January 19, 2016

For Maine's credit unions, having a ball and raising funds for childhood cancer has again 'netted' a record amount.  The 22nd Annual Dr. Noel Paradise Memorial C-U Swish-Out Childhood Cancer Challenge, which took place on Sunday, January 15, at USM in Gorham, raised a total that far exceeded any previous highs. A record 57 teams, more than 35 sponsors, and numerous volunteers, helped the event, which is now Maine's longest, continuous-running, 3-on-3, charity basketball tournament, raise an incredible $52,453 for the Maine Children's Cancer Program, more than $20,000 more than last year's record.

"The spirit and generosity of the community, not just locally but from throughout the region, is truly inspiring.  The support of sponsors, participants and volunteers who graciously give up their Sunday to be a part of this event is remarkable.  It's hard to believe that, after 22 years, the passion from all involved has not only sustained but gets stronger every year," remarked Jon Paradise, Vice President of Governmental & Public Affairs for the Maine Credit Union League and Founder of the Tournament.

The event began in 1994 with seven teams raising $575 for the Maine Children's Cancer Program.  Twenty-two years later, the event has collectively raised nearly $375,000 for children with cancer and their families.  It's an event that attracts teams from as far away as Massachusetts and Millinocket, and everywhere in between.  "The tournament has become like one big family reunion, and it's great to see so many people come back year after year.  Now, many people who participated in the early years have children that are now participating in the Junior Divisions.  That's really special to see that type of commitment from the community to helping a cause," added Paradise.

This year's event was once again coordinated and presented by the Maine Credit Union League and Maine's credit unions. Other significant sponsors included: Kepware Technologies, Liquid, Tyler Technologies, Symquest, Five County Credit Union, WEX, Alere, Hannaford Supermarkets, Martin's Point Healthcare, CU Promise, Moody's Collision Centers, Time Warner Cable, University of Southern Maine and WPOR (101.9) Radio.

The winners of the five Divisions were:  (Elite) Hoops We Did It Again; (Just For Fun) I am Ron Burgundy; (Forever Young) Matt Rogers Team; (Junior - Middle School) Greely MS (Junior Franchise); (Junior - 5th/6th Grade) St. Brigid.

Paradise said the date for the 2017 event has been set.  It will be held on Sunday, January 15, 2017.  The solicitation of major sponsors will begin later this spring.  "It's never too early to start working on next year but, for now, all involved can take a little rest knowing that they made a difference for children with cancer and their families.  For that, they deserve a big 'thank you'."